City Lights Authors in the News

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Learning to Die in the Anthropocene
Reflections on the End of a Civilization
Roy Scranton

"Essay in Motherboard/"

"We know the planet is in the midst of a new Great Die-Off, caused by human behavior. Less clear is whether this mass extinction will someday include us, but a growing number of people believe that it will. Who can blame them?

This pessimism is beginning to percolate into the mainstream with the release of Roy Scranton's anticipated new book Learning to Die in the Anthropocene. In it, Scranton advocates for a new philosophical framework that could become a metaphysical wrench-in-the-machine for the global economy, interrupting flows of capital and and replacing knee-jerk reactionism with slow, mediated reflection on our own mortality.

'Philosophical humanism in its most radical practice is the disciplined interruption of somatic and social flows, [and] the detachment of consciousness from impulse,' he writes. At a recent talk Scranton gave at the book's launch in Brooklyn, he suggested the science was just too bleak for social movements to change our future, and all there was left to do is cultivate compassion and patience as we wait to die together.

Scranton’s stoicism is just the kind of detachment from our fiery collective fate that near-term extinction adherents value."—Aaron Miguel Cantú

-Motherboard/ Oct 1, 2015

"Interview with Roy Scranton"

"Friends of the Pleistocene" interview Roy Scranton about his new book, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene.

-Friends of the Pleistocene Sep 24, 2015

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Under the Affluence
Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America
Tim Wise

"Tim Wise Talks About an Economic System Fundamentally Rooted in Racism"

Tim Wise gave a talk at Phoenix College all about what he focuses on in his new book, Under the Affluence, namely the connection between institutional racism and the American class system.

Wise opened by proclaiming his gratitude to the activists doing day-to-day ground work to actively oppose racial discrimination, and urged the audience to support them as well."There is something fundamentally wrong with our culture when I am here speaking before you about these issues of racial inequity, structural racism, institutional white supremacy, and as I speak, Sandra Bland is dead," Wise said. "And the fact that no one. . . is prepared to utter her name. . .It tells us a lot about where we are and where we are not in our society." 

-Isabella Castillo, The State Press Jul 24, 2015

"U.S.A., Land of Limitations"

Tim Wise's new book, Under the Affluence is mentioned in this front page article in the Sunday Review in the New York Times:
"As Tim Wise notes in a forthcoming book, 'Under the Affluence,' there’s an 'increasingly vituperative narrative of cruelty' to those at the bottom."

-Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times Aug 8, 2015

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Stars Seen in Person
Selected Journals
John Wieners, Michael Seth Stewart

"Robert Dewhurst and Michael Seth Stewart on the Life and Works of John Wieners: September 10, 2015"

Video of the complete reading: the Poetry Center presents poet-scholars Robert Dewhurst and Michael Seth Stewart reading from and discussing the works of poet John Wieners (1934–2002). The program includes a screening of the outtakes from Richard O. Moore's 1965 USA: Poetry public television documentary featuring John Wieners in San Francisco along with Robert Duncan.
Robert Dewhurst is one of the editors of Wave Books' Supplication: Selected Poetry of John Wieners and Michael Seth Stewart is the editor of Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals by John Wieners (published by City Lights).

-The Poetry Center Sep 10, 2015

"John Wieners Selected (Supplication) and Journals (Stars Seen in Person)"

The Allen Ginsberg Blog spotlights the two John Wieners selected works published in September—Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals (City Lights) and Supplication (Wave Books).

"Not only one but two John Wieners books coming out in the Fall. The second of these, Stars Seen In Person—Michael Seth Stewart's masterly edit of Selected Journals, (with an introduction by Ammiel Alcalay)—(pub. date for that, 15th of September)—John's first appearance with the legendary City Lights, incidentally."

-The Allen Ginsberg Blog Aug 13, 2015

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Shock Treatment
Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition
Karen Finley

"Interview with Karen Finley in the Windy City Times"

"'At first, I was thinking that the 25th anniversary of this book wouldn't have any significance because of thinking the issues that I was writing about—how would that be responded to today?' Finley reflected. . . . 'Women's rights were under siege; right now Planned Parenthood's rights are under siege. At the same time we're supposed to be looking at progress in some areas, but it's still not enough—like #BlackLivesMatter. I felt that it was important to put the writing out there again because there is a relationship about voicing the political issues for today.'"—Karen Finley

-Windy City Times Sep 30, 2015

"Book recommendations from Entropy Magazine"

Shock Treatment is featured!

-Entropy Magazine Sep 30, 2015

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Notes on the Assemblage
Juan Felipe Herrera

"10 New Books by Established Latino Authors"

"Juan Felipe Herrera's new book, Notes on the Assemblage, is chosen as part of this list of great books by established Latino authors including Sandra Cisneros, Urayoán Noél, and Luis Alberto Urrea. Rigoberto Gonzalez, who put the list together says, "The incoming Poet Laureate of the U.S. affirms his reputation as the conscience of the Americas with this collection of poems (many in bilingual versions) that considers such charged subjects as Ayotzinapa and the Charleston church shootings. To provide an emotional balance to this troubled landscape, he also includes heartfelt tributes to beloved poets recently passed, including José Montoya, Wanda Coleman, and a former Poet Laureate of the U.S., Philip Levine. Herrera's voice is reflective and wistful as he sifts through the damage of violence and loss in order to come to terms with the hard-won path towards solace."

-NBC News Oct 2, 2015

"Nevada's Day with Juan Felipe Herrera"
Chronicling U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera's visit to Nevada State College, in which he was presented with the key to the Las Vegas Strip (on a day officially designated "Juan Felipe Day"). Juan Felipe created an impromptu participatory poem with the audience and signed copies of his works including his new book with City Lights, Notes on the Assemblage
"When Herrera approached the podium, he was welcomed with a standing ovation, enthralled the room with the story of his beginnings, then jumped into his readings, many from Notes on the Assemblage, his U.S. poet laureate release. From that, in his ode to friend José Montoya, the artist and writer who passed away in 2013 (and father to RIchard Montoya of Culture Clash),  Herrera shows there are thick connections between the Chicano traditions of literature and art."
-Paint This Desert Sep 27, 2015

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To Protect and Serve Who?
Organizing a Movement to Abolish Police Violence
Mumia Abu-Jamal

"The Movement for Justice Against Police Violence'"

Mumia Abu-Jamal reads an excerpt from "To Protect and Serve Who?: Organizing a Movement to Abolish Police Violence" on his latest commentary for Prison Radio.

-Prison Radio Sep 16, 2015

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Disposable Futures
The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle
Brad Evans, Henry A. Giroux

"Interview with Brad Evans"

Kathleen Stephenson speaks with Brad Evans about his book Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle, co-authored with Henry Giroux.  Stephenson is host of the show "Political Perspectives" on KBOO, Portland, OR.

-KBOO Political Perspectives Sep 13, 2015

"Interview with Henry Giroux in Counterpunch"

"The Spectacle of American Violence and Cure for Donald Trump."  Chruck Mertz interviews Henry Giroux.

-CounterPunch Aug 25, 2015

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Writing on the Wall
Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Johanna Fernández

"Three Excerpts from Writing on the Wall"

3 chapters from Writing the Wall excerpted for print and online edition of SFAQ. Chapter 1, "Christmas in a Cage," Chapter 71, “Before Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib—The Black Panthers,” and Chapter 106, “The Meaning of Ferguson” are all excerpted.

-SFAQ Oct 3, 2015

"Mumia, the Writer: An Interview with Johanna Fernández, Editor of Writing on the Wall"

Johanna Fernandez, editor of Writing on the Wall is interviewed by the Baltimore City Paper days before her appearance at the Baltimore Book Festival. She talks about Mumia's role in the black prophetic tradition as well as his importance in constructing black counter narratives for the last 40 years of American history.
"Abu-Jamal has been something of a cause célèbre for a couple of generations of activists now, and has written widely during his decades  of incarceration. His new book Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal collects some of his most important essays. Johanna Fernández, who edited the book and works as the coordinator of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, will talk about Writing on the Wall at the Book festival this weekend. We caught up with Fernández to talk about her own work, her relationship with Abu-Jamal, and Writing on the Wall."

-Baltimore City Paper Sep 22, 2015

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Women in Public
City Lights Spotlight No. 13
Elaine Kahn

"Women in Public chosen as one of Entropy Magazine's 'Books That Have Devastated Us'"

Entropy presents a list of books that "broke our hearts, brought us to tears, down to our knees, then built us back again with the beauty of their language, their honesty, their courage. Here are some of those books, as nominated by the Entropy community."
Chosen as one of these books is Women in Public by Elaine Kahn.

-Entropy Magazine Sep 21, 2015

"Poetry Is Not the Final Girl: Elaine Kahn"
Elaine Kahn is interviewed by Trisha Low for Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog: "Elaine Kahn and I have a long-standing agreement that either of us can flake on any scheduled date we have to hang out because of reasons of emotional distress and/or exhaustion. This means that we don't see each other often because one of us is usually always crying, but that doesn’t really matter. The feeling of knowing that your friend is letting you self-care is often the higher form of love than actually hanging out. And I love Elaine exactly as she is. Distressed, exhausted, and most of all, crying on Instagram.

"My friend Claire says often that if you see a woman crying on the street, and you ask her why, chances are that she’s crying because of some reason that is ultimately reducible to just being a woman, which might be the greatest horror there is. But on the flip side probably the best thing thing about being a woman is having the prerogative to burn it all to the ground. And no one knows this better than one Ms. Elaine Kahn. So her and I will say thanks very much and goodbye hey also I’d watch out for that gasoline if I were you."

-Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog Apr 30, 2015

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In Search of the Movement
The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now
Benjamin Hedin

"Interview on What Matters"

Interview begins around 1 hour and 6 minutes in.

-Freedom Action Network Jul 31, 2015

"A Conversation with Benjamin Hedin"

Host Frank Stasio talks with author Benjamin Hedin about his new book In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now which profiles legendary figures from the long civil rights movement, including John Lewis, Julian Bond and contemporary leaders like William Barber II of the Moral Monday movement.

-WUNC Jul 9, 2015

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Rad American Women A-Z
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl

"Profile of Kate Schatz in Oakland Magazine"

Kate Schatz Grabs Headlines with Feminist Childrens' Book:  An Alameda woman publishes City Lights’ first children’s book with a Berkeley illustrator and earns bestseller status.

-Oakland Magazine Sep 28, 2015

"Kate Schatz on KQED"

"One wouldn't necessarily expect to see Angela Davis, Carol Burnett and Patti Smith featured in the same book, let alone a children's book. But that's partly the goal of Kate Schatz's Rad American Women A -Z, which celebrates radical women of all stripes. Schatz and journalist Niema Jordan join us this hour to celebrate women who have changed the world."

-KQED Forum Aug 20, 2015

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Man Alive
A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man
Thomas Page McBee

"Man Alive Nominated for 2015 Kirkus Prize"

Man Alive, which received a Kirkus Star in 2014 and was named a Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, is longlisted for the Kirkus Prize––a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers' literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015. Winners will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.

-Kirkus Reviews Sep 11, 2015

"Pride Month Reading List"

Man Alive included in the National Book Foundation's 2015 Pride Month reading list for nonfiction. Jun 25, 2015

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A Corner of the World
Mylene Fernández-Pintado

"Learning from Pete Seeger"

Dick Cluster, translator of A Corner of the World and other Cuban works, talks about Pete Seeger's influence on how he approaches translation of Cuban literature.

"A literary translation example involves something I encountered in Mylene Fernández's novel La esquina del mundo, where there's a complicated pun that involves an image of a hawker in the streets of Baghdad with a basket of Cuban boniatos on his head. I resolved the pun via a substitute pun that works in English, but I kept the boniato in Spanish because it says to the reader: this is Cuba, and if you don’t know what type of vegetable that is, then maybe there are other things you don’t know as well — and because a boniato does not feel or look or taste like a North American sweet potato, no matter how often it’s translated that way."

-Dick Cluster Aug 31, 2015

"The Melancholy Muse: Mylene Fernández Pintado on Stories, Sentinels, and Staying in Cuba"

A profile and interview with Mylene Fernández-Pintado, author of A Corner of the World, touching her life as a writer in Cuba, her U.S. tour in the Fall of 2014, and more.
"Fernández's works have been translated into numerous languages from Italian to Icelandic, but her most recent novel, A Corner of the World (City Lights Books, 2014), which tells the story of a couple with irreconcilable differences (he wants to leave Cuba; she wants to stay), is her first to be translated into English. During this historic time of changing US-Cuban relations, A Corner of the World is also one of the rare books published in the US by a writer currently living in Cuba, opening a new window into the island for American readers."

-Los Angeles Review of Books Jun 20, 2015

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The Violence of Organized Forgetting
Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
Henry A. Giroux

"NEAR Foundation Reading List"

The NEAR Foundation celebrates Henry Giroux in their latest list of recommended reads.

-National Endowment for American Renewal Sep 30, 2015

"Interview with Henry Giroux"

Henry Giroux also explores what he calls the "soft war" on youth -- a campaign where digital space is so corporatized that it de-politicizes the young. Massive student debt has financially incarcerated them while their unemployment rate surges.   What's to be done?  This episode of Ideas explores that question using excerpts from a talk he gave as part of the Spur series, and from an interview with host, Paul Kennedy.

-CBC Radio Apr 17, 2015

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Haiti Glass
Lenelle Moïse

"A Female Poetry Explosion in the Caribbean"
Lenelle Moïse profiled as a female Caribbean poet to watch for.
"Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised near Boston, 35-year-old Moïse is a Renaissance woman. A playwright, spoken-word artist, essayist, screenwriter and actress, she channels the Haitian immigrant experience in her varied works. A former Northampton, Massachusetts, Poet Laureate, her 2014 poetry collection, Haiti Glass, offers an unblinking dive into both privilege and catastrophe, in words best read aloud in a strong voice. Haiti Glass has been recognized as a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Lesbian Poetry, and the praise keeps rolling in. Last fall, Moïse told the City Lights Books blog that if her book had a sound track, it would be 'of shard crunch, hoarse voices scatting, bursts of laughter like thunder, and the softest hums.'"––Shannon Sims 
-OZY Sep 12, 2015

"Bookmarks: National Poetry Month"


For National Poetry Month 2015, Keith Orr (owner of Ann Arbor's Language Bookstore) offers insight into the importance of poetry while recommending great works to both those old and new to the genre. Included in this list (besides Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems) is Lenelle Moïse’s Haiti Glass from City Lights/Sister Spit.
"Sixty Years after the publication of "Howl," City Lights began a collaboration with poet and author Michelle Tea to publish two to three books a year under the imprint of Sister Spit. Tea is the author of Valencia, founder of the Radar Reading series, co-founder of the legendary Sister Spit literary tours and cultural promoter. The imprint is grabbing the attention of the LGBT literary world.
"The imprint's first collection of poetry already has received a Lambda Literary nomination. Lenelle Moise is a playwright and performance artist, and it comes through in her debut collection of poetry. Alternating rhythms of hip hop and Haiti drive these poems of identity. The vodou of Haiti is a constant point of reference in her grappling of a Haitian-American identity. Even in her ode to Michael Jackson, 'a pump of bony pelvis' she calls him a ghede (spirit) and zombie."


-Pride Source Apr 30, 2015